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News Release

Moravian College Professor Diane Husic to Speak at Climate Change Conference

Bethlehem, Pa., April 28, 2010— Dr. Diane Husic, professor of biology and chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences at Moravian College will present at the 2010 Climate Change Conference on Friday, April 30 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania. Husic attended the recent United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen with a group from Moravian as a civil society observer.

Husic will present, “Adapting to Climate Change on a Global Scale:  Perspectives from the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit,” an overview of the U.N. international negotiations process and status of any agreement. “The focus will be on adaptation, a process which acknowledges that at least some climate change is inevitable and tries to find ways to minimize the negative impacts on humans (food production, safety from extreme weather events, protection of livelihoods, diseases, etc.), and on natural systems (biodiversity, increasing carbon sinks through reforestation, etc.),” Husic explained. “In Pennsylvania, disease, the impact on agriculture, forests and wildlife, and winter recreation are key issues.”

The conference will be attended by representatives from state and federal agencies, universities, and environmental organizations who will meet to discuss the impacts of climate change on Pennsylvania’s plants and animals. In the morning, speakers will present information on how climate change is affecting Pennsylvania and discuss some of the climate change research currently underway in the state.

During the afternoon, participants, who are coming from across the northeastern U.S., will begin developing strategies to help Pennsylvania’s species deal with the future effects of climate change. These strategies will then be incorporated into Pennsylvania’s legislatively mandated Climate Change Action Plan.

In 2009-10, Husic is serving as the president of the Council on Undergraduate Research (and is a long-time councilor in the Chemistry Division).  She is involved with special projects with the NCAA. Her research is currently supported through grants from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  Recent publications can be found in the monograph Transformative Research at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (2010), Wildlife Activist (several articles 2007 – 2009), CUR Quarterly (several articles and columns, 2006, 2009, 2010), and Reviews in Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2002).

She serves on the boards of the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center and as a participant in the Keck-Project Kaleidoscope Initiative on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning.  In addition, she has been invited to serve as the external evaluator for a new National Science Foundation-funded Research Coordination Network called the Ecological Research/Education Network (EREN) for primarily undergraduate institutions.

In 2009, Dr. Husic attended the UN Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen (COP15) as a civil society observer and subsequently has been asked to serve on the PA Adaptation to Climate Change Working Group for Natural Resources.

Other speakers at the conference will included U.S. Representative Kathy Dahlkemper; Greg Czarnecki, executive director, Wild Resource Conservation Program; Dr. Bruce Stein, associate director, Wildlife and Global Warming, National Wildlife Federation; Dr. Susan Stout, project leader, U.S. Forest Service; Dr. Mary Ann Furedi, ecologist, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; Dan Brauning, chief of wildlife diversity, Pennsylvania Game Commission; Joe Sherrick, climate change program manager, Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection; Nels Johnson, director of conservation programs, Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and Sally Just, director of conservation science, Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Moravian is one of only six private liberal arts or predominantly undergraduate institutions to be selected to serve as a "civil society observer" from this country. To qualify as a civil society observer, an organization must demonstrate an ability to contribute working knowledge to the conference. Moravian sent a contingent of 23 faculty, students, alumni, and friends to the convention.